Five things to consider before setting up your own business

Aoife Lawler, co-founder of the Irish Fairy Door Company, won Entrepreneur of the Year at last year's IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards. She and her business partner, Niamh Sherwin Barry, were recognised for their entrepreneurial skills at a lavish ceremony, similar to the one this year's nominees will enjoy on 19th November.

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IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2018

The Irish Fairy Door Company was launched in 2013 to bring magic into families' homes. They sell hand-crafted wooden fairy doors, behind which real fairies live; as well as stories and videos for children to enjoy. As nominations for this year's ceremony continue to pour in, we asked Aoife what she thinks every woman should consider before setting up her own business.


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Here's what she told us:

  1. Know who will support you to get your idea off the ground.
  2. Identify what you are good at and what value you bring to the business, notice where the gaps will be and fill them.
  3. Take all offers to sit and chat, even if you ultimately decide not to take the person's advice. There is no need to make the same mistakes as everyone else; so listen.
  4. Don’t be afraid to be emotional. This is often viewed as a weakness, but I think it’s our greatest strength. Brilliance can come from it.
  5. If your idea is good, you will have offers coming from all angles. Don’t feel obliged to take them all. Go with your gut.

Aoife adds how important it is to be original and to remember to share the journey with others. “Being an entrepreneur is about creating something from effectively nothing, and bringing people on the journey with you so that everyone can see the value of what you offer,” she says.

On the evening of Monday 19th November, we will gather with Ireland’s most inspiring businesswomen for a luxurious gala dinner, during which we will recognise and celebrate their successes. We will reveal the winners in nine categories, plus the winner of the Lifetime Achievement award and the overall IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year 2018.

With only a limited time left to nominate, you'll need to act fast. Good luck.


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